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Articles by Melissa Sweet

“A place to call home” – the winning entry in Gavin Mooney Memorial Essay Competition

This statement is issued on behalf of the Sydney School of Public Health at the University of Sydney, the online publication Inside Story, and Croakey. A freelance writer from NSW, El Gibbs (pictured right), has won the second Gavin Mooney Memorial Essay Competition with an essay titled, “A place to call home: housing security and mental [...]

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On election eve, some health matters for Queensland voters

Whatever the outcome of the Queensland election, the predicted large swing to Labor – and away from the austerity politics of the Liberal National Party – will have national ramifications. That’s the asessement of sociologist and political analyst Dr Mark Bahnisch (who has also been tweeting for @WePublicHealth this week) in his election-eve wrap for [...]

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Declaring a Day of #CroakeyThanks – readership grew in 2014

The readership figures for Croakey for 2014 (including the top 25 reads) have been posted here. In short, in 2014, Croakey had: 395,393 pageviews 285, 141 sessions, and 175,844 users. For the sake of comparison, in 2013, there were: 368,668 page views 266, 924 sessions, and 164, 702 users. On this day of #CroakeyThanks, I [...]

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On #QldVotes and a shrinking public health sector

The World Health Organization has urged nations to strengthen the capacity of their public health workforces, as one of a raft of recommendations aimed at reducing the toll of noncommunicable diseases. However, the recommendation, in the WHO’s latest report on noncommunicable diseases, must sound rather hollow for those who have followed the shrinkage of the [...]

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A refresher course: why health reform is needed (attention: Minister Ley)

We know, thanks to Twitter, that our new Health Minister Sussan Ley has been consulting with some medical groups as part of her commitment to “undertake wide ranging consultation”. But is she also hearing from some of the other parties with relevant expertise – like consumer and community representatives, health policy and public health experts, [...]

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Queensland policies on mental health: doing harm & breaching the law?

The use of ‘locked wards’ in acute mental health services is not backed by evidence and is associated with greater risk of patient self-harm and increased violence and aggression, according to a new analysis by UTS researcher Jon Wardle. Wardle suggests that Queensland Government support for locked wards policies may be in breach of the [...]

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A call to rally behind #SurvivalDay and learn about Australia’s real history

Nathan Appo writes: I’m an Indigenous man from Innisfail living in Brisbane and I love Australia. This year I will celebrate #SurvivalDay in recognition that Aboriginal people of Australia have overcome genocide, imprisonment, have had our country taken from us, and yet remain to be the longest known living culture in the world. I will [...]

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Wonky Health has found new jobs for Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and some of their Ministerial colleagues

Inspired public health leadership is hardly the hallmark of the Abbott Government. But if the Government wanted a “complete health makeover” (and even some of its own MPs seem to favour this), then Dr Tim Senior has some ideas for a political revolution – to be lead by a Prime Minister for Health. His latest [...]

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Concern over Medicare changes that will restrict patients’ access to Aboriginal Health Workers

While the Federal Government’s determination to introduce a copayment for general practice consultations has been dominating headlines, a recent change to the Medicare Benefits Schedule is causing great concern for services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Louise Lyons, Acting CEO of  the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), says the change undermines the [...]

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Professor Peter Gøtzsche to deliver a powerful critique of psychiatry

No doubt there will be plenty of debate generated by a series of lectures in Australia next month by Danish physician Professor Peter Gøtzsche, managing director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre based at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen (details here). In a preview below, Professor Gøtzsche and two Australian colleagues, psychiatrists Professor Jon Jureidini and Dr Peter Parry, argue [...]

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